National
AIDS: Circumcision campaign lifted by new evidence
Publish Date: Jul 21, 2014
AIDS: Circumcision campaign lifted by new evidence
A man undergoing circumcision
  • mail
  • img
newvision

MELBOURNE - A campaign to encourage circumcision among men in sub-Saharan Africa to help protect them against the AIDS virus was backed by new research on Monday showing that men who have had the operation are unlikely to engage in unprotected sex.

Three major trials have previously shown that, for heterosexual men, male circumcision reduces the risk of contracting HIV by as much as 60 percent -- a finding that has prompted the UN's World Health Organization (WHO) to recommend it as a voluntary prevention option, to be used along with the condom.

But some experts have warned that circumcised men, believing themselves to be shielded, are likely to become more promiscuous after the operation, and less likely to wear a condom.

The new study, coinciding with the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, took a long look at this argument yet found no evidence to support it.

University of Illinois at Chicago researchers questioned more than 3,000 men aged 18-35 in Kenya's Nyanza province who had just been briefed about the option of circumcision and advised on safe sex and testing for HIV.

At the start of the study, half of those enrolled decided to be circumcised, while the others chose to remain uncircumcised. They were asked about their sex life, with followup questions every six months over the following two years.

During this period, sexual activity increased in both groups, especially among those aged 18-24, the investigators found.

But risky sex -- such as having multiple partners or having intercourse in exchange for providing money or gifts -- declined, while use of condoms rose.

Just as revealing was self-perception

Men who were circumcised often believed they had lessened their risk of acquiring HIV. Thirty percent considered themselves high-risk before circumcision, while just 14 percent considered themselves so after.

Among those who decided not to be circumcised, 24 percent considered themselves high-risk at the study's start, and 21 percent still did at the end.

But the different perceptions did not translate into different behaviour, sex-wise.

"Countries that have been holding back on implementing medical circumcision programs due to a lack of evidence regarding risk compensation should have no concerns about scaling-up programs," said lead scientist Nelli Westercamp in a press release issued by the university.

The research appears online in a specialist journal, AIDS and Behavior.

AFP


Also related to this story

HIV battle: Uganda tests out rubber band circumcision

Man loses penis in medical circumcision

Circumcision: ‘My experience’

Shortage of circumcision tools amid high demand

Circumcision improves sex, women confess

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
14 killed in DR Congo machete attack
THE incursion by the Ugandan rebel group ADF took place overnight in the town of Kampi ya Chui....
Businessman sues UNRA over Entebbe Expressway
A businessman has dragged UNRA to court seeking sh5b in damages for loss of business and the inconvenience over the construction of the Entebbe Expressway....
US Commander of Africa Forces visits
President Yoweri Museveni has said that the main challenge in Somalia today was clan-related issues. The President made the remarks at State House Entebbe in a meeting with the United States of America Commander of Africa Forces, General David Rodriguez....
Museveni hails Uganda-North Korea ties
President Yoweri Museveni describes the North Koreans as friends who have helped Uganda for a long time on visit of one of its leaders....
Slain Unilever boss mourned
Speaker after speaker described Makanga as a smart, classy, humble, respectful, joyful, hardworking man at his funeral in Kampala....
Muntu warns Mafabi, Nabila over media exchanges
ACCORDING to John Kikonyogo, the party spokesperson, Muntu said discussing the issues in the media was affecting the image of the party...
Should the absence of bride price prevent couples from wedding?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter